Trump nominates Northey to serve as USDA under secretary

By Erin Voegele | September 05, 2017

President Donald Trump has announced his nominations for three USDA posts, including the nomination of Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey to serve as under secretary for farm production and conservation. Trump has also nominated Gregory Ibach to serve as under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs and Stephen Vaden as USDA’s general counsel.

Northey is currently serving his third term as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. He also previously served as president of the National Corn Growers Association. In his new role, Northey will oversee the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, National Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency.

“Bill Northey will continue his honorable record of public service in leading FPAC,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “Having served the people of Iowa for the last ten years as their Secretary of Agriculture, and as a fourth generation corn and soybean farmer, Bill has a unique understanding of issues facing farmers across the nation.  He will be an invaluable member of the team.”

The National Corn Growers Association has spoken out to congratulate Northey on his nomination. “Bill Northey is a longtime friend of NCGA and a passionate advocate for farmers. We congratulate him on this well-deserved appointment, and we urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm him,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock. “His roots in production agriculture run deep. He will give farmers and ranchers a senior-level voice on important issues such as risk management and conservation programs, especially as we craft the next farm bill.”

“We’re pleased to see another strong, experienced leader nominated in Bill Northey, and we wish him a speedy confirmation process,” Spurlock added. “We also urge the Administration and the Senate to continue filling out the entire USDA leadership team, so that we can move agriculture forward through these challenging times.”

Ibach currently serves as Nebraska’s director of agriculture. In his new role, Ibach will oversee the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Agricultural Marketing Service, and the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration.

“Greg Ibach will bring the experience and vision necessary to serve as a first rate Under Secretary for MRP at USDA,” Perdue said. “His exemplary tenure as Nebraska’s Director of Agriculture places him squarely in tune with the needs of American agriculture, particularly the cattle industry.  His proven track record of leadership will make him a great asset to USDA’s customers, the hard working, taxpaying people of U.S. agriculture.”

Vaden, a lawyer from Tennessee, has practiced law at the Washington, D.C., firms of Patton Boggs and Jones Day.

“Stephen Vaden has a keen legal mind, as we have already experienced through his work since he joined USDA as part of the beachhead team on day one,” Perdue said. “He has a firm grasp of the legal issues facing American agriculture, and very importantly, understands the breadth and complexity of the regulatory burdens placed on our producers.  Our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers will be well served by his counsel.”